Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Hour w/o Power

Yesterday afternoon, we spent an hour without power.  It flickered on and off three times (the number of times the circuit tries to reset itself, according to Hubs, before it gives up so it doesn't start a fire or damage the equipment).  Then it went out entirely.  Which kind of sucked, but not really hard.

Like I said, it was only out an hour.  And it was still light out, albeit gloomy.  As soon as it went out, I shut the computers down to save battery power.  Then I grabbed the battery-powered lantern and set it in the office.  Then I shut my battery backup off, just in case the outage lasted long and we needed that battery for coffee tomorrow morning.  Hey, a gal has to have her priorities.

I usually light candles, but like I said, it was still light out, so I just grabbed flashlights and placed them strategically around so they would be handy if we needed them.  I plugged in the old corded phone so we'd have communications.  Called the power company from it because if I don't, no one else will.  Then we took up residence in the living room where Hubs napped in the chair and I read on my Kindle.  (It was light out, but not light enough to read a hardcopy book without eye strain.) 

About 50 minutes in, I went out onto the sun porch to have a cigarette, which gave me a chance to check the batteries in our radio out there.  Still going strong.  I rolled up and down the dial until I found the station closest in proximity to the house.  It's country station, but I lived.  I was listening for weather reports, not entertainment. 

Halfway through my smoke, I heard the mini-fridge out there kick on and saw a reflection of the office lights in the sun porch windows, so I knew we were through the outage. 

Changed all the clocks.  Hubs turned the dryer back on.  The computers and battery back up were turned back on.  Reset the answering machine (although I was too lazy to reset the time, so it's still an hour off.)  Collected all the flashlights and put them back in their staging areas throughout the house.  All was well at the time of typing this post last evening - even though it sounded like another storm was rolling in.

Kind of screwed up my plans for dinner.  We were without power through what would've been my preheat and baking time.  I had a sandwich and fresh fruit.  Not as awesome as my salsa chicken, but it was good.

So, here are the questions you've all read far enough to find:  Do you have a plan for emergencies?  Battery backup?  Flashlights or candles?  Something to keep yourself amused?   What would you do if you lost power for a day or more?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 29

And here we are at another Sunday.  Not sure how we got here again already, but there it is.

Writing?  I'm at 12,700 words on Ugly and the Beast.  I didn't write Friday or Saturday.  I'm still stuck on how to proceed.  I thought I'd be over the hurdle by Saturday night, but I wasn't, so there it is.

My edits aren't due back until the 11th, so I'm just chillin' there.

I read a couple books.  And I started The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton on Friday night.  I have not read it before nor have I seen the movie, so don't ruin it for me. 

On the 'getting healthier' front, I did something active 6 out of 7 days.  And as of yesterday morning I'm at 180.4 lbs.  (Or if you go by the incorrect scale, 187.4.)  Either way, I lost another pound.  Regardless of poundage lost, though, I'm starting to really see the change.  My bras fit like they're supposed to.  My Dunlop disease* is on the ropes.  The back boobs are disappearing.  An unfortunate outcome is that my butt is disappearing, too.  If you knew me once upon a time, I didn't have a butt to speak of, so it was kinda nice to finally have one.  So much for that.  And I'm okay with its loss.

I did get kidnap the Hubs and go fishing one afternoon.  We stood in the gentle rain and fished for a couple hours.  Didn't catch much, but it was nice.  And we didn't get skunked, so it's all good.

At the moment, we're in the throes of an invasion of some kind of tiny grain bug.  They came in on the bags of deer feed we store in the attached garage, and now they're in the house.  They don't bite and they're too small to be really obnoxious.  Right now, they're just annoying.  I did clean the cupboards where I store all my grain-based foods (cereals, chips, crackers, flours, etc.) and put everything into Ziploc bags to prevent them from getting into anything.  They hadn't yet, but I didn't want to chance it.  The sticky traps are catching most of the ones I've seen.  The others kill easily when I see them. 

What's up with you?

*Dunlop disease... where your belly dun lop over your belt.  :snicker:

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up - 6/28/18

Hello again.  Here's what I read this past week.

48) Dead Wizard's Loot by DJ Salisbury (7/26/18) - Fantasy* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but definitely underappreciated.
Review: " This picks up where the Mindbender's Rise series left off! Yay! There's Viper, of course. And Baby Bear (I'm not going to even try to spell her real name - if you read the first series, you know who I'm talking about). And a little bit of Lorel. And a couple old friends are there, too. Plus, there's a whole new group of characters that are totally awesome. No spoilers, but when that one thing happened... :sob: And the end... :sniffle:

I can't wait to see what's in store next."

And now I think I'm caught up on Deb's books, so she really needs to write more.  

47) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (7/21/18)- Romantic Suspense - 4 stars.  I'd never read this before, but I've read other du Maurier novels.  And no, it's not underappreciated.  This was part of my neverending goal to read certain classics. 
Review: "I'm going to say something I almost never say. I liked the movie better. The book drags a little near the beginning, the heroine is a too much of a limp dishrag for me, and the end? Well, it just stops cold. Still, an interesting book that held my interest all the way through, so even if I hadn't seen the movie, I would've finished the book."
So, even though this one didn't thrill me as much as her other novels, I still gave it four stars because it is well written.  

Since I am working on writing a book right now, I'm reading at a slower pace than I was.  Stuff happens.  I'm still ahead on my goal, though, so it's all good.  Last night I started reading The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton. 

Read anything good last week?  How are you doing on your goals for the year?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thursday This n That

Last night through this morning, I had things pop into my head to put down here for the this-n-that, but every time, by the time my ass hit this chair, they disappeared.  Let's see what I can cobble together...

Yesterday, I did about 20 minutes of exercise and then went for a walk.  Hubs was already off on his walk (we don't exercise-walk together - he walks faster and his legs are longer) when I left.  Well, yesterday I got a wild hair and decided to walk in the same direction he'd walked.  He was about halfway back from his walk by the time we met up (his walk is way longer than mine) and then we walked together the rest of the way home.  It was nice.  It also meant my walk was longer than usual.  A mile and a half instead of a mile.  And man, were my legs feeling that extra half mile.  It's good to change things up a bit every now and then. 

Somehow or other (probably smoking and age), I've lost the upper range of my singing voice.  I'll be singing along and those notes just don't come out anymore.  Kind of makes it interesting.  I have to remember to sing in a lower register.  I think I'm turning into a tenor.  Maybe a bass.  I was never a soprano, but I could hit some soprano notes.  :shrug: 

Coffee is awesome.

Bold flavor Chex Mix is addictive.  Especially when I add a handful of mixed nuts.  Yummers. 

I've had the '21 Pilots' CD Blurryface in my car CD player since February.  I usually get sick of a CD way before then.  I bought their earlier CD.  Meh.  I want their newer CD, but Wallyworld never seems to have it in stock and I'm too lazy to order it online.

Know what I'd like?  Five hours of unbroken sleep.  I mean, I've love eight hours, but let's not be greedy.  Five hours would be wonderful.  I can't remember the last time I slept all the way through five hours.  It's been 'sleep some then get up to use the bathroom, sleep a little and wake up from a weird dream, sleep a little more and the cat comes in.'  Meh.

Well, none of the above were things I thought I'd be posting today, but that's a pretty good bit of this n that after all.  What have you got for me today?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A TP Rant

I'm trying to find a replacement for Northern toilet paper (which I've used for decades).  I love it, but my Wallyworld has switched to only carrying MEGA rolls of the stuff. 

Speaking of MEGA rolls, why the hell are all the brands moving toward them?  The damn things barely fit on my dispensers, making it difficult to actually get the number of sheets you want without the roll getting stuck and ripping off just one damn sheet.  As we all know, no one can do a damn thing with just one square.  (Yes, I'm thinking of Seinfeld, too.)

First, I tried Great Value, which was on par with Northern.  Mostly.  Smaller squares.  Meh.  I'd keep buying it, though.  However, since I bought the first package of GV, my Wallyworld stopped carrying the normal sized rolls of it.  Gah!

Angel Soft also had mega rolls but it was cheap.  It was also a DUD.  I have to use twice as much to do the same job as Northern.  And it shreds.  Also, Gah! 

I have a really tough time making myself buy Charmin, even though someone I trust recommended it to me.  I find their bear commercials disgusting.  If you can't get away with it using people, why are you getting away with it using cartoon bears?  Gross.

And really, who buys toilet paper from a commercial?  Usually people have one brand they abide by and they never change - you know, unless changes in product or packaging force a change.  Are the grody bears really encouraging anyone to switch brands?  If you go by commercials, Angel Soft is awesome.  Liars.  How do people find a new brand of TP to use?  Do people ask their friends and families for recommendations on toilet paper?

Anyway, the hunt for a good brand continues.  I have a couple rolls left of the cheap-ass Angel Soft and then I get to start on the new package of Cottonelle.  :fingers crossed:

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 28

Hello there.  Fancy meeting you here.  =o)

It's Sunday in the Ozarks.  Here's a look at last week...

I finally got that round of edits done and sent off to AWE on Friday.  I think I ended up adding like 7K words or something.  So, Sleeping Ugly is sitting at around 61K right now.  We'll see if she gives me anything else to add over the next round of edits.  It's due back to me on or around the 11th of August.  Which means I'm still on track for a release date of August 29th.  Might not make a pre-release, though.  We'll see. 

Also, in the writing category, I got some more words done on Ugly and the Beast.  I had an epiphany for later in the book and also an epiphany for a new beginning - which I started last night.  (The unwritten epiphany is jotted down on a sticky note so I won't forget.  As if I could.  It's a game-changer.)    I didn't get a lot of words written yesterday, but that's because I was second-guessing every word.  That's what I get for trying to write new words after a marathon editing session.  I'll get back to work on UatB shortly.

And I'm working with my cover artist on the cover for SU.  Should be really awesome.

It was a limited reading week because I was so focused on getting the edits done.  I only finished one book by the time I posted yesterday's update, and I finished Rebecca last night.  It was kinda disappointing.  :shrug:

I managed to get out and go fishing once.  Caught two little bluegills.  But that wasn't the point.  I've been jones'n for the shore and being out really helped clear the cobwebs, so it's all good.

Last week was not a banner week for being active.  Only four days worth.  But I did get my shot and after adjusting for the scale's 7 lb inaccuracy, I'm at 181.4lbs.  Which means an overall weight loss of 6 pounds since April.  (194.4 minus 7 = 187.4) 

Something ate all my lilies right to the ground.  Hubs said he saw a buck headed down the side of the house (where they don't usually go) and the next day the lilies were gone.  Jus' sayin'.  As if the gardens weren't having a hard enough time with the damn drought.

Speaking of drought, we got a real gusher last week and then a few little rains.  So, like 2" worth of moisture.  The grass might actually need mowing this week.  Hubs hasn't had to mow since early last month. 

Well, that seems like about all I have this morning.  I might've forgotten something, though.  I have edit brain.  What's up in your little slice of the universe?

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/21/18

Hey all.  Kind of a short post today.  I only read one book last week.

46) Term Limits by Vince Flynn (7/15/18) - Political Thriller - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated. 
Review: "Goodreads is telling me this is the second time I've read this, but I seriously don't remember reading it. I sure didn't remember any of it as I was reading it this time, and it's a freakin' memorable book. I love Vince Flynn. And even though this isn't a Mitch Rapp, it is awesome."  
As a side note, I really wish Vince hadn't died.  Too talented to die so young.  =o(

The reason I only read one book last week was massive editing on my next book.  But I sent that off to the editor last night and she'll have it for 3 weeks, so I'll have plenty of reading time for a little while.

I'm currently reading Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier.  I've had this book for years but I've never read it.  Oh, I've read plenty of her other books, but not this, her most famous.  Seen the movie umpteen times, though.  I'm hoping to have this one done by the end of the weekend.  Then I've got a couple new books on my Kindle to read.  And I still have scads of old books to read.  

Read anything good lately?  Any new to you authors?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Thursday This n That

The saga of the bathroom scale continues.  If you remember, I bought a new digital scale back in April (I think) and it was showing an 8 pound heavier difference from my old regular scale.  Now, I thought my old scale was off a bit, so it wasn't a surprise to see a difference.  Not that big a difference, but still.  Then yesterday, I was at the doctor's office and I weighed myself there.  And there was a 7 pound lighter difference between their scale - which is calibrated monthly - and my new digital scale.  Umm, yah.  So the old scale wasn't that far off and this new cheap-ass digital is wrong.  :eyeroll:  I'm still using the digital scale, though, because it's easier to read.  I'll just be subtracting 7 pounds every time I use it.  Oh, yeah, and the doctor's scale put me at 184 with clothes on.  (But no shoes.  Never weigh yourself with shoes.)

I went fishing yesterday.  Yeah, I know, I said I wasn't doing anything but editing until the book is in AWE's hands, but I snapped.  It was so deliciously gloomy and I was so burnt out on editing, I had to go.  After I got home, I went back to editing.  I only caught two undersized bluegills, but being at the lake was necessary to my existence.

Still didn't get the book to AWE last night.  I explained the situation to her and she forgives me.  I'll have it to her today or no later than tomorrow.  And I'll still be on track for an August 29th release.

Yesterday at the lake, I saw groups of Eastern Swallowtail butterflies drinking from the damp sand along the shoreline.  So pretty.  And too cool.

I cleaned the coffee maker yesterday.  It makes coffee so much faster when I do that.  Boom!  Coffee!  YAY!  If you're not familiar with cleaning a coffee maker, I fill the water receptacle with vinegar, let it run for five minutes, stop for five minutes, run through the whole cycle.  Then I mix the hot vinegar with half a picture of water and run it through the maker again.  Then one or two cycles of just water to get the vinegar out.  Voila.  (Your mileage may vary depending on how hard your water is.  We have really hard water, so I use lots of vinegar.)

Cleaned the dishwasher, too.  Half a container of dry Tang mix in the bottom of the empty dishwasher and the detergent receptacle filled with baking soda, then run a cycle.  Got it almost as clean as when we had the well problem and had to run bleach through the system.  If I could find a way to run bleach through the dishwasher once a month I'd be happy, but since I can't, this works.

Oh, and here's another handy tip.  When you're finished running the vinegar through the maker, use it to clean your sink drains.  Shake some baking soda in the drains ahead of time, then pour in the hot vinegar.  Whoosh.  Clean drains.  Your whole house will smell like pickles, but it's worth it.  Burn some candles to get rid of the pickle smell.

Okay, I think that's just about enough out of me this morning.  What have you got going on today?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Here's The Deal

Okay, here's the deal.  I'm going through Sleeping Ugly line by line and making it better.  (I hope.)  Adding stuff, rewording stuff, deleting stuff.  I already input my editor's pink suggestions throughout, but I felt like I needed to knead this book some more.  Work in some of the more major changes she suggested and just generally go over it again. 

I spent my weekend writing time and yesterday's time doing this.  And I'm on page 39.  With two days left before the deadline I set to send this back to her for final edits.

I will have this to her on Wednesday.  If I have to sit at this computer and pour over the manuscript until my eyes go wonky.  If I have to eschew reading and television and life.  If I end up with brain mush afterwards.

I can't skip everything.  Today's my shot day.  I need the shot, so I'll be taking some time off for that trip into town. 

And I will continue to exercise, because when I don't exercise I feel like a toad.

And I will do any work the pay-job sends over.  Because PAY. 

I may be up late tonight and tomorrow night doing this, but it's kind of par for the course if I want you to be able to read the best book I can create for you.  Break out the coffee, baby. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 27

Well, hello again.  Welcome back.  Grab a cup of coffee and set yourself down a spell.

In the writing sphere, I finished the pretty pink, line by line edits on Sleeping Ugly on Friday, as scheduled (which felt like a major win for me lately - hitting a deadline).  Next up, the deep content suggestions my editor made.  And some tweaking of my own.  Still on target for having this ready no later than Wednesday.  I'm looking at an August 29th release date.

I'm currently working with my cover artist for SU's cover.   We've got some good ideas and a cool cover model picked out.  I'm sure she'll make it awesome.

I read 7 books last week, too.  Crankin' and spankin'.  And no DNFs.  Yay.

And I got a boatload of work from pay-job.  I'll have that done by Monday morning.  

On the activity front, I did 5 out of 7 days (6 if you count watering the gardens as something active).  Still no more weight lost.  But shot day is Tuesday, so fingers crossed that helps.

We're still only seeing one fawn.  Little Prince has two almost solid stripes of spots down either side of his neck, so it's easy to confirm that every time we glimpse a fawn, it's him.  I picked up another water pan for the deer.  It's been so hot and so dry they're chugging the water down and we have to fill the one pan we had three times a day.  So, I got another one.  They're still getting used to the newness in the yard, but Little Prince wet right to it and drank his fill. The others will get there, too.

This weather is crapping out my gardens, even with the every-other-day watering I'm doing.  Rain!  We need Raaiinn!  We had thunderstorms roll through yesterday evening and not a freakin' drop.  Bleh.  It's supposed to get a tad cooler next week, so there's that.  Too little too late probably.  =o\

Well, that's all from me, folks.  What's up with you?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up 7/14/18

It was a big reading week for me last week.  Here's what happened:

45) Off Leash (Freelance Familiars #1) by Daniel Potter and Marianne Fox (7/13/18) - Paranormal* - 5 stars. New to me, but not underappreciated.  Thank goodness.
Review: "Different. Strange. Fun. And totally awesome. I really enjoyed reading this story. Full of twists and snark and humor, but not total fluff. I picked this up as a free deal the other day, but I'm buying the next one. I'm hooked."
Note: The next books are $4.99 each.  I'm not quite budgeted to shell out $5 or $10 for books right now.  I'll wait and see if the price drops any time soon.  If not, maybe I'll buy them next month.

44) Die Like a Dog by Brett Halliday (7/11/18) - Hard-boiled Crime - 5 stars.  Not new to me or anywhere else.  Doesn't have a lot of reviews on Goodreads, but it was published in 1960, so I'm not surprised.
Review: "Ooo, I do love hard-boiled crime novels! This one doesn't disappoint. Mike Shayne solves the case, saves the girl, and catches the bad guys. Without angst or apology. So good."

43) Murder on Tyneside by Eileen Thornton (7/10/18) - Mystery* - 4 stars.  New to me, but not really underappreciated as I see it.  No review. Not a bad book, but it didn't excite me enough to review it.

42) Night Fall by Silver James (7/9/18) - Paranormal Romance* - 5 stars.  Definitely not new to me and could be way more appreciated.
Review:  "Started it this morning and was finished by lunch. I couldn't put it down. So good. And I couldn't believe it when Shy did that to Digger, and they didn't kill her. OMG. So not expecting that. But it all works out in the end. Yay!

Warning, though, there are some super spicy bits and some cringe-worthy language, but hey, these guys are bikers. And they're Wolves. If you're looking for nice and fluffy, this ain't it."

41) Jade Star by Cedar Sanderson (7/8/18) - SF novella* - 5 stars.  Not new to me, and kind of underappreciated.
Review: "Excellent little novella. I loved Jade so much. So much awesome packed into such a small story. Now I need to go find the series this is Book 0 of.

And no, I am no relation to Ms. Sanderson."

40) The Unknown Twin by Kathryn Shay (7/8/18) - Romance - 4 stars.  New to me, but not underappreciated.  No review.  Not a bad book, but it didn't excite me enough to review it.

39) Magic's Child by DJ Salisbury (7/7/18) - Fantasy - 5 stars.  Not new to me, but still seriously underappreciated.
Review: "Perfect end to a most excellent series. All the feels were there - happy, sad, excited, thrilled, angry, surprised - and Ms. Salisbury tied it all up into a mostly happy ending. (No spoilers. I hate spoilers. But wait'll you see who the Mindbender is. Shocker. Totally.) I've got the first book of the next series waiting for me on my Kindle, but I'm going to have to wait for the feelings to die down a bit before I jump into that one." 

I finished my round of edits for Sleeping Ugly last night and wasn't prepared to dive back in for another pass then, so I started Term Limits by Vince Flynn.  So far, so good.

What about you?  Any new books to talk about?  

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thursday This n That

I can't believe it's Thursday already.  Where did the rest of the week go?

I'm loving this PD lip sync battle thing.  The one where the officers are lip syncing the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' scene from Wayne's World kills me.  The one from Norfolk, VA is awesome.  The one from some little town here in MO is funny, but has the worst lip syncing I've ever seen. LOL.  I think it's good to see them letting off steam.  It's one hell of a stressful, dangerous job.  And =op to the naysayers.

We have a pair of crows that hatched out three chicks this season.  We know because the three fledglings are following their poor parents around making the most ungodly racket, demanding to be fed.  They're kinda cute.

We got rain on Tuesday and I was cackling like a madwoman.  This is what happens when it doesn't rain for too long a time.  I went out on the porch to enjoy the downpour and I almost stepped out onto the concrete pad, but then big thunder.  Nope nope nope.  I want to enjoy the rain, but I do not want to fry for it.

I got a boatload of work from pay-job yesterday.  And I have a Wednesday deadline.  This should be fun.  Luckily, I'm between books reading-wise right now.

Yesterday's bird of the day was the Kirtland's Warbler.  They're endangered, but you know, I have no sympathy for them.  I mean, they're cute and all, but their breeding area is soooo specific (one little area in the upper part of the lower peninsula of Michigan and only in certain trees there) that their evolutionary track leads to a brick wall.  They need to be more like the coyote and the starling.  If you can exist anywhere, your species' existence is more likely to continue.

Okay, that's it for me.  Gotta get to work.  (I wrote this last night, which meant editing, but you reading it this morning means spreadsheets.  Either way, I'm working.)  Ta ta for now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I'm Kinda Boring

Ah, the mid-year doldrums.  When I become the most boring person ever.  Not that I'm all that exciting at other times of the year.  I write, I read, I edit... lather, rinse, repeat.  Sometimes I fish or I garden, but it's too damn hot right now to want to do that.  This year, I've been exercising, too.  Not exactly exciting stuffs.

But readers shouldn't really care about all that.  I'm just the man behind the curtain.  Pay no attention.  The real show is the stories.  There are eleven of them out there right now.  I'm working on an even dozen by the end of summer and a baker's dozen by the end of the year.  Those are interesting and exciting.

I'll never stop a murderer or a terrorist threat or an evil god-thing.  I'll never rise up against my oppressors or figure out a mystery or save the day.  I'm just a writer.  I make that interesting stuff up in my head.  It's exciting in there (some days) and I'll happily crack the skull and pour it onto a page for you.

But me, personally?  I'm kinda boring.  And I'm okay with that.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 26

Halfway through the year again.  Where did those months go?  :shrug:

I didn't do any writing again this week, but I did get some editing done.  Not as much as I should've but I'm still on track.  I have to be really careful with this book because I'm likely to just start reading it when I ought to be editing.  It's that kind of book.

Read two books last week before the reading wrap-up, and I finished another last night.  Which was a good thing because I was so engrossed in reading that I wasn't at all encouraged to edit while the book was sitting there unfinished.   And I'm still mentally engrossed in the book, so I've picked a romance to read next.  Kind of a 'clean your mental palate' thing.

No fishing again.  It's too hot and I'm too anti-people to go out anywhere near this holiday - even if today is deliciously cool for a change.

Did active things 6 out of 7 days.  Mostly exercise and walking.  I'm doing about 15-20 minutes of exercise/dancing and then a one mile walk around the neighborhood loop.  That takes me about 25 minutes.  It's all hills, all the time.  I'm not losing any weight right now, though.  It's too close to my hormone shot to expect to lose weight.  In fact, last I checked I'd gained about a pound.  After the shot, that should drop away.  Damned girly hormone weight.  Anyway, the shot's in 9 days.  No worries.  I'm not going to stop my activity plan just because I'm not seeing progress on the scale.  That would be silly.  I'm seeing progress elsewhere.  And besides the girly-pounds, I figure I'm in a weight redistribution phase.  The fat weight is redistributing to muscle weight.  At least that's my story.  ;o)

Other than that, not much going on here.  How about there?

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Saturday Reading Wrap-up 07/07/18

Hello again. 

I didn't read as many books this week, but the two I did read weren't fast reads.  And as of last night, I was halfway through another book that's not quick.

38) The Shadow of the Lynx by Victoria Holt (7/4/18) - Historical Romantic Suspense - 4 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.
Review: " Interesting. Kind of a Thornbirds meets Jane Eyre with a little suspense there at the end."

37) Wizard's Child by DJ Salisbury (6/30/18) - Fantasy* - 5 stars - Definitely not new to me, but super underappreciated.
Review: "That was freakin' awesome! These books just keep getting better and better. I inhaled this one. And now, on to the next installment for Viper and his crew. Yay!"

DNF - Perfect Passion by Patricia Lake - I picked this one up at the thrift store because I still have fond memories of the old Harlequin Presents titles.  This one is from 1981, I think.  I started reading it and meh.  The hero comes off as something of an ass.  The heroine comes off as something of a bitch.  I made it to pg 28, but I wasn't interested in reading more.  I know that's how some of these old romances are set up, and they probably would've gotten more likeable, but I've gotta like at least one of the two main characters to devote more precious reading time to a book.  NEXT!

What I'm reading right now is DJ Salisbury's Magic's Child (the seventh and final book in her Mindbender's Rise series.)  I'll be sad to end this, but she's already got another book out that is in the same world, (and I've already bought it), so it's all good.

As always, I hope you find something good to read in these wrap-ups.  

Have you read anything good recently? 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Thursday This n That

The fireworks actually weren't too obnoxious last night.  I made up my mind before bed to treat the noise like a thunderstorm.  I sleep through thunderstorms all the time.  No big whoop.  It's all about perspective, doncha know. 

Speaking of fireworks, Hubs read on the local news where the nearby wide spot in the road had to cancel their display.  The company they contracted with to shoot off the display had a fire at their facility on Tuesday.  Can you imagine?  Fire at a fireworks factory.  Scary shit there.

Once upon a time, back in 1992, I was engaged to a volunteer fireman and his department put on the fireworks display for the suburb of Chicago we lived in.  One of the fireworks exploded on the ground.  Yep, scary shit.  (Until this morning, I'd forgotten about that.  Score one for my memory.)

We've still only seen one fawn this year.  I've named him Little Prince.  He's so cute, gamboling around the yard.  Then he noticed the water pan.  He snuck up to it, but he must've seen his reflection in the water because he jumped and ran away.  So cute.

Speaking of deer, Hubs just looked outside and they're already waiting for him.  It's 6am, guys, have a little patience.  Geez.

We tried to find a fireworks display on TV last night.  Of the three TV specials that were supposed to be fireworks, all three had some kind of rock concert type thing when we switched over to it - including the Boston Pops one.  And it wasn't the orchestra.  It was some boy band or something, singing pop music.  Bleh.  I'm guessing if we'd sat through the hype we would've eventually seen fireworks, but who's got time for that shit?  I want John Phillips Souza music with freakin' sparklies, dammit. 

Despite not actually going to the fireworks in the great outdoors, I got eaten alive by mosquitoes yesterday evening.  I was watering the gardens.  So itchy.  I did grab some plantains (broadleaf weeds, not the banana cousin) while I was out there and rubbed them on the bites I could reach while watering.  That worked pretty good, but man, I was a pincushion by the time I was done.  And everything needs watering right now because it's so damn dry.  We had a rambunctious thunderstorm a couple days ago.  Banging and booming and a minor power outage, but did it rain?  Oh hell no.  All we got was like two minutes of sprinkles.  Just enough to make patterns in the dust on my car. 

On a happier note, the ornamental grass I bought that I thought was probably dead is sending up new shoots.

Well, I could go on... and on and on... but I should probably get on with my day.  What's on your this n that radar this morning?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!
This copy of The Declaration of Independence hangs on the wall to the right of my desk.  (Click on it to make it larger, if you want to.)   It was one of the first things I bought and put up after we moved here.  Serendipity finding it at the thrift store so soon after we declared our own independence and moved here, I think. 

This document is what Independence Day is all about. Declaring to the world that men have the right to be free individuals. 

Enjoy whatever pursuits you have planned for today and spare a thought for why you're free to pursue them. 

I'll be working on editing today.  And I am extremely glad I live in a country that allows me to write the books I want to write without fear of reprisal - at least from my government. 

Happy Fourth of July, folks!  And be careful out there in the world today.  :hugs:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Damned Inconsiderate

It's time again for another ranting post about vacationers. 

I live in a resort area.  And yeah, we kind of knew what we were getting into when we moved here.  Summers and the holidays they envelop mean extra people in the neighborhood, extra traffic on the road, and a decrease in common courtesy.  We were not prepared for it to be this bad, though.

I posed the question yesterday to a few locals while I was out and about: Why are people on vacation so damned inconsiderate?  No one knew, but they all agreed.

Oh, I'm sure vacationers lovely at their permanent homes.  They probably pick up after themselves and are respectful of their neighbors' need for sleep.  They probably don't drive like freakin' maniacs and are polite in their local stores.  Their dogs are on leashes and they don't stop to stare at their neighbors' homes/yards or in their neighbors' windows.  They might even drive a little slower in their own home places*.  (Maybe not, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.)

But they go on vacation and they lose all sense of decorum and civility. 

My poor gals at the smoke shop/bait store/booze emporium looked positively frazzled yesterday.  They said they'd been slammed for days.  As I drove up, a gaggle of women were loading cases of beer and bags of ice into their pickup.  Eight cases of beer and twelve bags of ice.  And just before they left, one ran back inside to make sure the place would be open on the 4th.  Two days later.  Two days, people.  192 cans of beer in two days.  All I can hope is that they weren't bringing that party anywhere near me. 

And this particular holiday comes with sound effects.  Large tents have sprung up along the highways nearest the towns, proclaiming they have the loudest and biggest fireworks ever.  :insert Lurch groan:    I was sitting in my home Sunday night, trying to enjoy Endeavour on Masterpiece, when the evening's warzone ensued.  They probably didn't even consider that some people still had to get up and work on Monday.  Nope, not a whit.  And I even said it out loud when a golf cart full of whoopers and hollerers drove by.  "Hey, some of us have to work tomorrow!" 

At their respective nest holes, wherever they may be, the vacation birds are probably silent on Sunday nights.  Because that's how civilized people behave.  But, like I said, they come here and lose their everlovin' minds. 

It doesn't help that Independence Day falls mid-week this year.  So, there are 'holiday weekends' on either side of the actual holiday.  Twice the partying for the same price, I guess.  Woohoo.

Anyway, I beg you, if you go on vacation reserve at least a tiny part of your brain for thinking about the people around you.  You can have fun without being, as my favorite smoke shop worker put it, a-holes. 

*Holy shit, people, are you trying to vacation at the speed of light, or what?  "Vacation faster, vacation harder"?  Slow down and enjoy the view, for petesakes. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sunday Update - Week 25

Almost halfway through the year.  Ugh.  Not sure what happened to the first half.  It friggin' flew by.  And here we are again at the beginning of another month.  Here's what happened the last week of June...

I didn't do any writing again.  I figured it was so close to my edits coming back that why bother?  Yeah, I was rationalizing there.  I did get an idea for the next SCIU book, but I'm not ready to write it.

I got my edits back for Sleeping Ugly last night.  So much pink.  I set it aside and I'll start dealing with it today.  I've set a deadline for having it back to AWE no later than the 18th.  (As long as I can deal with all that pink in that timeframe.)  Perhaps once I get SU closer to publication, I'll be able to sit down and work on UatB,

I was reading a lot last week.  Four books read, two put down without finishing.  Three are in the Wrap Up and one I finished last night, so it'll be in next week's post.

In marketing news, I booked an ad for Project Hermes with Bargain Booksy.  It's due out on Wednesday, cuz, ya know, Independence Day is the perfect day to advertise a political thriller, right?  Well, maybe not.  I'll let you know next Sunday.  And it's not a 'sale' ad.  I'm leaving it at $2.99 and seeing what happens.  :fingers crossed:

Most of the week was spent hiding from the abysmal heat we're having here.  Thank all the little gods for AC.

Speaking of the heat, it's making my commitment to activity a little harder.  I only did 5 days out of 7 last week.  Mainly because if I don't get active first thing in the morning, I'm screwed for the rest of the day because it's too damn hot. I did get down to 189.0 last week, so it wasn't a total loss.  That's 5.4lbs since I bought the new scale and about 8lbs down for the year.  (I think.  I wasn't keep track as diligently as I am now, but it seems like I was at 189 on the old scale, which was 8 pounds off.)

And that's it for me.  Did I miss anything?  How'd things go for you last week?